Three Crazy Weeks

By Kip HenleyApril 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
Tues. March 22nd:
Played a practice round in Auburn Ga. for this weeks Hooters event. Family joined me while they were on spring break. I let Stormi my baby girl practice caddying for me for the first time. Darbi my oldest girl and Sissi my wife rode around in a cart and just giggled the whole time. Just striped it and shot 6-under on the front side. Ran out of daylight and unable to go on to the back. Too bad it was only a practice round.
Fri. March 25th:
I shot even par yesterday. Stormi did awesome both days. Paired with two great guys (Andy and Eric), told Stormi that if I got paired with crazies, she wouldn't be able to caddy but had great guys. It ended up that I was the biggest jerk in the bunch. Played 17 holes at even par and got darked out. Stood even after 35 holes. It looks like the cut is going to be real close to even so I have to sit on that all night. I hit it decent but just no putts are falling. You should see our hotel room! Stuff lying everywhere...clothes, hairbows, etc. We've learned not to sweat it. I am 100x blessed! It's so much fun having them with me.
Sat. March 26th:
I sweated the t-ball all night and all morning. It's a pretty tough t-ball. Stood up there and just piped it right down the middle. I knocked it on the green on the wrong deck, 35 feet away. Three jacked it and missed the cut. REAL disappointing. Spent Easter weekend with girls, they headed north back home and I headed south to Albany to prepare for next weeks event.
Thurs. March 31st:
Late tee time, rained out...
Fri. April 1st:
Still no first round, rained out again....
Sat. April 2nd:
I finally started my first round, seemed like the wind was blowing 100mph. I played 1, 2, 3 and round was called for wind, stood 1-under. They finally called the entire event due to wind. I have had a lot of tournaments called but none for wind. Heading home for the week.
Thurs. April 7th:
I spoke at our local Rotary Club luncheon. $1,000.00 donated in my honor, received a plaque and a pen. Got wind of a celebrity event that could be interested in me playing in L.A. at Riviera, The Emmy's Celebrity event. Talked with my potential agent, David Maraghy of SMI and arrangements were in the making.
Sat. April 9th:
All plans are finalized, Im heading to L.A. in the morning.
Sun. April 10th:
I got up at 3:30 a.m. and drove to Atlanta for a 9:30 a.m. non-stop to L.A. A good friend Dr. Sohn met me at airport for a ride to the club, but I was delayed due to the airlines losing my clubs! Waited for the next plane to arrive and clubs were on board and fine. Still got in 18 holes that afternoon with a cool member at Riviera, Chris. Finished just before dark. Excited about actually staying in the hotel at the clubhouse at Rivieria. You'd think I would be so tired I couldn't stay awake but I was put up in the Dean Martin room at the clubhouse. Oh Dean-O would have been very disappointed, no liquor cabinet in the room. The history and the pictures in the hallways were unbelievable. I was up late just walking the halls looking at the pictures. Every great player in history has had his picture taken on the elevated 1st tee, ten feet from the clubhouse. I finally went to sleep a little after midnight, almost 24 hours after I left home.
Mon. April 11th:
I played in the Celebrity Pro-Am, must have been hurting for celebrities because I was one of them. David (some three name guy) from JAG, dark, tall good looking guy was the host. Mr. Peterman from Seinfeld and his sweet, hot wife, Kevin Nealon from Saturday Night Live, Matt Grieser (Footjoys Sign Boy) the most underrated talent in golf TV(this guy is funny) were all participants as celebrities also. Played 18 with some NBC guys, had a great time. I won a closest to the hole which got me and my team a teeth whitening from a dentist to the stars. Told him if he didn't have it in his car, I'd have to take a rain check because I had a flight to catch. Also won a long drive contest with my new Alpha driver. Hitting it like crazy.
Took a shower at the clubhouse, caught a taxi to the airport and the red eye all night to Richmond, Va., via Cincinnati (30 min. nap on floor by ticket counter) for a practice round and media day for the Henrico County Nationwide event.
Tues. April 12th:
Picked up from airport at 9:30 a.m. by my (getting closer to official) agent and tournament chairman of the event. Tee time set up with host pro, TW Pulliam and the presenting sponsor, Saxon Capitol's CEO and CFO. These guys are good players and extremely knowledgeable in golf. TW was awesome and his staff are tops in the hospitality department. Had a great afternoon. They really put on a big show, had caddies, etc. People can't understand how welcomed they made me feel. The entire town and club are really pumped about having the event there. Played 18 holes, had an awesome dinner with same group, treated unbelievable. Went back to hotel for a little sleep.
Wed. April 13th:
I finally got to sleep in. Began media day at 10:00 a.m. These people are prepared! Spoke at the clubs media day banquet. This is a golf crazy community (The Dominion Club) Everyone from waiters to shoe shine guys knew who I was. It's strange how I go to some clubs and I'm just a golfer but others treat me like Jack Nicklaus. I couldn't be more excited about going back after the treatment I received, it's going to be a special week.
I was taken to airport by now official agent, David, flew out of Richmond at 5:30 p.m. to Atlanta and headed south to Warner-Robbins. Got into Warner-Robbins around 9:30 p.m. with no hotel reservations. Looked up friend Jake Reeves for some notes on course, since I was unable to get in a practice round. Finally found a hotel and checked in around 11:00 p.m. Thank goodness I had a late tee time.
Thurs. April 14th:
Well, today I played about like I prepared. I tried to tell myself that without a practice round there'd be no pressure. Tried to free wheel it around but it back fired. I picked up a local young fireman (Steven) on the No. 3 tee, great guy, saw the show, was excited to see me. He asked me if I wanted a caddy and I asked how much, he said nothing and I said 'suit up'. Great guy. Shot 40-41 and never left the middle of the fairway on the back nine.
Fri. April 15th:
I had an early time. Steven and I really fought it back with a whopping 78. Needless to say I was smart to have checked out of my motel room before I went to course. Leaving Warner-Robbins with my tail between my legs. Heading north via a stop with my swing coach, Scott Hamilton in Cartersville, Ga. Had to drive thru first part of Atlanta rush hour, boy do I love Crossville, Tenn.! Spent an hour or so with Scott and then was able to hit balls until dark. Got home around 11:00 p.m. Looking forward to catching up on my good quality family time, sleep and effective practice.

Thanks for listening to my long winded diary; I've had 2-3 big weeks...

Related links:
  • Kip's Diary Archive
  • Big Break II Home
  • Getty Images

    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

    Getty Images

    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

    Getty Images

    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

    Getty Images

    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.